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  1. It's one thing to favour the new format and quite another to suggest that licensing as opposed to P&R killed off London. That frankly is a delusional assessment.
  2. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    Good post. But again, would fans of the small heartland sides support that? In essence (to develop an example from this thread) you would be talking about a well-funded Edinburgh SL side in partnership with the likes of Batley, Dewsbury and Barrow as feeder clubs at least 1 tier down. This would be excellent for the sport and IMHO a great result for all concerned but as ever the sticking point would be the lack of P&R for the smaller sides and their perception that they are subservient to a new team. This perception is of course correct in many ways but neither as evil nor as radically departed from the status quo to warrant either anger or a stifling of the sport's growth. But such a partnership could only genuinely work if that option (P&R) was removed (as with Melbourne and their feeder partners). It thus requires a bold decision by someone at the top, because an endless stream of empty "I want to see these new clubs do well" type gestures from fans like us will never on their own get us there. You are essentially there but in the end most likely lack the courage of your convictions. Or do I read you incorrectly? Would you agree to rule out P&R in order to achieve what you describe replicated in the UK big cities?
  3. You can think that all you want but it doesn't stop the format from being littered with dead rubbers. Nothing to do with prejudice, I'm simply stating objective facts. As for England, all bar Currie were developed during licensing and many of them play in NRL. It is a flight of fancy to suggest that they are the product of 4 years of a new SL format. Said format will be judged by England's performances over the next 5 or so years and given the average age of the England side you would have to think they will go backwards.
  4. Who will replace the australia spine?

    Good post. And England should be worried as the average age of their side this WC suggests they are the most likely to move backwards. If Samoa can keep Milford then they also move a bit closer to the new big 4.
  5. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    Not sure why you needed to put the "Does it? Why?" bit when I basically went on to explain why. And your second point is plain odd. You're describing an objective possibility without then giving any kind of reaction to it or even placing it in any kind of context. You're just saying "Well yes, that might happen" and leaving it at that. What does it mean if that happens, that's the point? Can the teams co-exist in the same league? Would they be in the same market for players? Both able to spend to a high salary cap? Both able to offer the same facilities? What would be the outcomes of that objective situation? Without addressing that you're really adding nothing to the debate.
  6. We've had 4 years of the format now (I think) and apart from this year, by the time the competition reached the Super 8 stage there were a whole host of dead rubbers for many of the sides. So I think that is a wholly baseless argument.
  7. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    A fair answer but surely expansion necessarily brings with it the requirement for contraction alongside it, no? The basic principle would be that a new club with a big (or at least big latent) fanbase raises the entry requirements of the other teams. Having Batley in SL is fine if you set the bar very low with regard to off field expectations but introducing Toronto alongside them by definition necessitates placing them in a degree of peril, does it not? It would seem to be pure idealism to suggest that they could happily cohabit any elite league.
  8. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    No you've misunderstood my point. I mean that placing the idea of "delight" at Toronto in isolation of what lies beneath that sentiment is empty. It can mean many things from a patronising pat on the head at the nice new little team tucked below the elite level to a desire to see them push the game forward. The additional detail is crucial.
  9. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    But what does that translate to? Placed in such isolation it's just empty rhetoric. Does it mean they want them to succeed but only in the lower leagues? Or that they want them to blast their way to the top of SL and open up the sport to a new worldwide audience (even if this is at the expense of 1 or more heartlands teams)? Without such qualification it is essentially hollow.
  10. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    "Supposing we could find a Koukash/Perez to set up a side in Edinburgh (not unthinkable by any means) would you support the granting of a permanent SL licence to such a side to help establish and grow the sport in Scotland? And if - as would seem likely - such a modernisation necessitated the loss of at least 1 side from the heartlands (Wakey or HKR, say) in order to accommodate it would you also support that?"
  11. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    That's fine (if again somewhat childish) but it leaves you with a lack of credibility to duck a very simple question about expansion and then continue to engage in discussion about it.
  12. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    I also think the analogy is a little clumsy but why not focus on the much better points raised in his earlier 2 paragraphs? This basically sums you up - picking and choosing bits of responses to attack rather than dealing with the key issues. Expansion that harms Leigh and their ilk but is for the overall good of the game? Yes or no? Very simple stuff.
  13. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    Seeing as you're back in the game now (having presumably dealt with your temper tantrum) can you lose the analogies and give a response to my very straightforward 2 part question of earlier?
  14. Tony Smith on FiveLive this morning

    What's that based on? What they tell you? I don't think anyone would admit to being anti-expansion but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I asked a very simple 2 part question to someone who classes himself in that group earlier in this thread and he refused to answer it (somewhat petulantly to boot). Are you prepared to answer the question? It's not about what you say, it's about what you're prepared to support.
  15. But Toronto have been drawing 8-10K to face semi-pro sides from tiny British backwaters. So I don't quite see your point. I doubt that it matters too much that most North Americans wouldn't have heard of St Helens, Wigan and Hull. Few Brits would be able to explain where Green Bay or Pittsburgh are but it wouldn't stop them from recognising those places as American football hotbeds. The North American sides would be playing leading English sides, that would be apparent. Learning the new places and understanding their back story I would have thought would be part of the fun of the whole experience for the new North American fans. For sure you would want to establish some big city teams from Britain as well. But those 3 clubs (as well as Leeds) clearly have large enough fanbases to be able to warrant inclusion in any expanding league. I'm not saying the whole thing would be easy but in relation to this matter you're finding obstacles where there are only opportunities.